Opinion | What Trump’s anger at Kevin McCarthy really says about January 6

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As the January 6 House select committee hearings continue to dominate the news, Republicans are increasingly uneasy as damning revelations surface about Donald Trump’s extraordinary corruption and his growing exposure to potential criminality. .

And they have decided that their problem is not Donald Trump.

In recent days, Trump has angrily criticized the House minority leader and the California Republican for spoiling the Republican strategy toward the hearings. This has encouraged Republican lawmakers to openly criticize McCarthy, mainly because of his initial decision to withdraw all of his Republican options from the committee.

But there is a hidden silliness factor in this story that should not go unnoticed. Republicans say McCarthy’s misstep deprived them of an opportunity to challenge the committee’s revelations and mount an effective defense of Trump.

However, this claim is itself a pernicious form of misrepresentation. It is intended to imply that the story the committee is telling is somehow one-sided, that there is an alternative set of facts that the Democrats are hiding, one that would weaken the revealing force of what we are learning about Trump and his accomplices. .

What really irritates Republicans is that they have been deprived of the opportunity to pollute the media environment and cloud the hard truths that come to light with obfuscation, disorientation and lies.

This becomes obvious if you read what Trump and the Republicans are actually saying. McCarthy’s doubt is becoming big news: see here, here Y here — and all the stories point to Republican lawmakers increasingly sharing Trump’s anger at McCarthy.

“It was a bad decision not to have representation on that committee,” Trump said this week. He too enraged that the committee’s “biased and hateful” witnesses accuse him “without even the slightest cross-examination.” He added: “Republicans must be allowed representation!!!”

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refused two of McCarthy’s choices for committee last summer: They were Trump arsonists clearly bent on sabotaging: McCarthy pulled her three remaining options, even though Pelosi approved of them. That left Pelosi’s picks of Representatives Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois) as the only two Republicans.

Prompted by Trump’s frustration, some Trump-allied Republicans argue that McCarthy should have left those three on the committee. a republican He says they could have “defended the hell” for Trump, creating a “totally different debate.” some in private to complain Republicans have no idea of ​​the inner workings of the committee.

But in a way, this hints at the deeper truth about the whole thing. Many, if not most, Republicans have simply ruled out the option of dealing directly with what Trump did. His only response, then, is to suggest that the force of these revelations stems from the GOP’s failure to counter them factually and procedurally.

But this is just more deception. All it really means is that, had they been on the committee, they would have tried to mess up those revelations with endless gaslighting.

If Trump-allied Republicans were on the panel, what would they have said and done? Trump wants “representation” and Republicans say they would have “defended” him. But what does this really mean?

They would have said Trump was not actually informed that the plan you were pushing for was illegal? That he really believed had won in 2020? That he He did not know the mafia was violent before aiming like a howitzer at its vice president? That he really believed Could exactly enough ballots be “found” in Georgia to allow him to prevail by precisely one vote?

Here’s a better guess: Because the case against Trump on those fronts is so strong, Republicans on the committee wouldn’t even have tried to “defend” him against him. Instead, they would have engaged in endless obfuscating antics.

We know this, because they are essentially telling us. a republican now he says that if he were on the committee, he would make a big deal out of Pelosi’s alleged security lapses on Capitol Hill, which is simply misdirection and complete nonsense.

Meanwhile, the lament that Republicans don’t know the inner workings of the committee is just another way of saying they would be engaging in procedural sabotage, like claiming that Democrats are distorting or suppressing witness testimony, a trick Trump allies have used before.

When you watch a witness like the Republican state House Speaker in Arizona testify about Trump corruptionYou can be sure Republicans don’t really want to “cross-examine” such figures in any meaningful sense, or genuinely believe it would be helpful to Trump.

If in doubt, remember: We were told before the hearings that Trump allies would “counterprogram” them. However, they have been mostly silent. If there was a genuine fact-based defense available to them, we would be listening to it.

Everyone is entitled to a defense, of course. But we are not required to pretend that there is an alternative, possibly exonerating, set of facts that are suppressed when there are none.

The suggestion itself is itself more gaslighting. And because the news doesn’t say so clearly, the coverage of Trump and the GOP’s criticism of McCarthy inadvertently furthers the GOP’s spin on this so-called alternative story that is not being told.


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